What is the right reaction to this antagonizing behavior?
Monthly Archives: December 2010
The King of California
In this day of post-christmatic Sunday, I watched a movie on Netflix. “King of California”
Why do I care about privacy?
You might wonder why I spend so much time on my blog complaining about the lack of protection for personal privacy.
Ahh, I finally found the terminology for what I’ve been complaining about Industrial Espionage. So, all those people snooping on my computer, are dong so for commercial reasons.
There are people, be it hackers or government agents or people hired by the bosses to monitor employees, who have access to personal information: Full content of personal emails sent to me and received by me, recording of my verbal communication with other people, and video recording of my behavior.
The important aspects of my insecurity are two: privacy and identity. Privacy means information about me and originating from me, especially in a password protected situation, should not be known to other people. Aside from my believing that privacy is an important civil right, the more important fact is that it is important to my continuation as a live human that some things are private. If corporations are modeled after people (Legal entity being an alias for a person), why is it that corporation secrets (trade secrets) are protected but my personal secrets are not guaranteed? There must be reasonable privacy in America!
A second problem is one of identity. If you intrude into my electronic communication, it is obviously the case that you are also able to type in an email as if it was typed by me. In that case, my identity has been used in ways that I do not wish it to be used. For reasons I will not discuss in detail here, this should not be allowed. Identity theft should not be allowed in any case!
So in terms of privacy, if you are a….
Government agent and you are invading my privacy by monitoring my electronic communications: Please continue as usual. Please try to not understate my male prowess in your writings into the permanent records you have on file for me as it cannot be exaggerated.
Corporate agent from a competitor of my employee and you are invading my privacy: Please stop. I believe this is illegal under various state trade secret laws. If I find out about this you will be sued by my employer.
Corporate agent from my boss: please continue, please exaggerate my accomplishments in your report to my boss, if you let me know who you are, I will do the same for you.
My competing coworker: Please stop, this should not be allowed. Your act of personal selfishness is detrimental to my productivity and eventually to your bottom line.
Backlog: The Crucible
Just watched The Cruicible with Daniel Day-Lewis and Winona Ryder, which btw, is labeled as “Courtroom Dramas” on Netflix…
So, I am slowly coming to the realization that I have been a bad student in my younger youth. I never quite grasped or remembered the core conflict of The Crucible, which is that Rev. Parris peruses the witch hunt because of the potentially he could get all those witches and devil-worshiper’s land.
I turned this video on as background noise to drown out the construction outside fixing the water way that supplies San Francisco with fresh water. I began to pay attention to it when I heard this uttered by the Judge Hathorne, who, at least in the movie version, seem to be conscious of the underlying struggle for land, and may well be paid under the table by the Rev. Parris for his bias. The sentence uttered is:
[A] person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between
And I always thought George W. Bush coined “You’re either with me or against me” In his fight against modern terrorism… But it appears, after a briefing Binging session (as opposed to Googling, for some reason my Chrome defaults to Binging for results), that “You are either with us or against us” is quite well used and studied and has been spoken by the Romans and Jesus Christ. It is known as a false dilemma if the decision is not a two-way decision.
… Any ways, the main lesson of two hours spent hunched over laptop watching netflix is that irrationality and blatantly illogical reasoning arise out of ulterior motives. The McCarthy Era, the subject of The Crucible, apparently, according to Yahoo Answers, is a similar struggle by the Republicans for power.
It leaves me wondering, did this McCarthy Era actually strengthen America? Did the consolidation of the land in Salem Mass. have positive effect on the local political and economic system? Did it have a good side effect on American Christian communities? And why is it, that I, who am not a Christian, feel so moved by the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer at the last hanging of John Proctor and the people against whom he could not lie, in this movie is based on a play written by a person of Polish-Jewish upbringing (according to wikipedia), but an atheist by his own account. I wonder… what really happened when these says were originally said, were they all on the edge of death from persecution, filled with regrets of a live shortened, yet hopeful in the correctness of choices made?
Have we humans really lived this way for these thousands of years, and continue in the same ways?
The Universal Recommender
So, I have been forced to think about recommendation on the web in recent weeks. My former employers laid me off from work and I had to interview and answer the question: “So what kind of recommendation algorithms did you work on?”
- Relevance: This is your run-of-the-mill Collaborative Filtering algorithm making (item->item) recommendation, Items relevant to current item. (creative->blog page) (the blog page’s text creates the context for which to calculate relevance, AKA Contextual Recommendation/Advertisement), etc. Content Based Filtering may also apply.
- Personalization: Typical collaborative filtering algorithm for making (item->user) recommendations. Typically, personalization is more personal than behavior targeting, but behavior results should fall under this category.
- Performance: Ideally, every single recommendation made should be performance based, however, this category, for me, contains non-contextual, non-personalized recommendations. Popular among DVD & music stores is Movers & Shakers, Bill Board top 100 music charts, Oscar Winners). “Most Viewed Video Today”, notice there can be some restrictions to Performance based system–in this case “Today”, but it should be minimal and easily comprehended. Also, secretly, these could be high converters, although you’d never say that to your customer…
- Referral: This is a very cool area of recommendation. This is your typical eHarmony match making (user->user). There is also (site->user), (blog->blog aka blogroll); Referral service is not very popular because it is very hard to put a value on the referral.
- Discovery/Navigational: And finally, if your site lacks hierarchical/facet based browsing capability, and it does not have a good search engine, then recommendations can help to orchestrate the user experience by leading them into purchasing the product.
Btw, I got laid off from work doing this for a living, so this information may not be the best thing to repeat in your interview or your next paper, Caveat emptor. And if you’re a recommendations vendor or a retailer or a media content provider, Caveat venditor. [[And to say this explicitly, I am not certain of the value of this approach to making a universal recommender system. Writing about it may bring you bad luck. Using the system for commercial purposes may not generate the desired revenue]]
The exclusivity of facebook
So I just watched “The Social Network” again. It seems that exclusivity is one of the key things of these social groups before they gain traction. I wonder if there are other exclusive groups in the world other than private schools and universities.
- Money: Themoneybook.com: only people who can afford to pay $500k a month can join the club.
- Prestige: Only people who are willing to enter the prizes, trophies, and awards that they have received are allowed to join. (Looking for nobel laureates under 60)
- Political affiliation: TheUnitedWeStandPartyFacebook.com, or republican under 30, or democrats over 5…, Nazis4Democracy.com; Commie2Commie.com
- Large corporation: TheGMbook.com (only current, former, and aspiring GM employees)
- Power: TheExecutivesbook.com; only E-level officers of companies with > $1billion annual revenue may join.
- Physical: TheFootlongClub.com; yuck, kinda gay too; how’bout TheTwinTowersbook.com; sigh… the noise made by the vacuum of creativity here is astoundingly deafening.
- Mental: TheJediAirbenderbook.com; only people who can bend air like that jedi lama may join and seek others of the same persuasion.
- Moral stance: BlackSupremacy.com;
the negative sum game
Hmm, so I recently realized that I’ve been fairly silly in asking my neighbors how to stop cats from pissing and pooping in my front and backyard.
The Social-Industrial Complex
Social networking is _the_ hot thing in today’s economy. Well, the portion of the economy that I am part of any ways. I cannot imagine a product to work on that would get VC money and not have some component of social networking to it.
Being a fairly anti-social person since my migration to the United States around Jr. high time, I constantly find myself not being able to integrate into this very social society. And certainly, when it comes to work, I cannot think of a project that is not social in nature. The money, it seems, is flowing away from anything non-social.
So this brings to mind an expression the Military-Industrial complex that eisenhower used to describe the pervasive and dominating relationships of military, government and the industry in the 1960’s.
One wonders, if the current movement towards a Social-industrial complex, a move that is also pervasive and dominating: not only on the net, but off the net, our music players, our cars, houses clothing, will probably one by one become social.
Could it be that by some cosmic rightitude, the Yin-Yang meta-physical origin of all things, that a the social industry is growing to counter balance, some day, fully, the military industry?
Will there be a merge of social military industry some day and the two separate forces will merge and wars will be fought on social networks?
sigh, that’s probably too much to hope for.
And then maybe we can even consider this Religious-Industrial complex and all those other complexes out there…
AND i DON’T HAVE BED BUGS EITHER!!!